2 weeks for next trip is New Zealand a good idea?

Dec 1st, 2004, 06:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 128
2 weeks for next trip is New Zealand a good idea?

We were thinking Europe as my husband has never been (He's only been out of the US once to go to South America), but since we have about 16 days I was thinking it might be a good idea to do a longer flight now. My question is how expensive are things in New Zealand (lodging, food, etc) compared to say continenetal Europe or even the US (I know the flight it a lot more expensive)
smiley525 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2004, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Hello S

There was a recent discussion here that might help you and your husband make up your minds. The thread involved a comparison amongst Australia, New Zealand and Italy. Here it is:


Although the discussion did not tackle the issue of expense, it was very informative in other ways.

Air fares from the USA to Europe and Australasia depend to some extent on the location of your departure point. If you live on the west coast of the US, you might be surprised at what little difference there is between the fares for, say, Los Angeles - Rome and Los Angeles - Auckland.

I have never been to New Zealand, but I'm guessing that the costs of lodging and food are somewhat comparable to those in Australia. If that is true, then expenses in NZ are lower than those of the popular European countries -- UK, France, Spain, Italy, etc.

Melodie Kennedy is a travel agent who posts here at Fodors. She has an informative website at:


If you go to her website and click on the link to Australia, you will see her comparison of expenses in European destinations such Rome, Paris, London and Sydney. When it comes to cost, Australia wins hands down. I am guessing that NZ's costs are closer to those of Oz than to those of Europe.

The other advantage of NZ, from what I've read at Fodors (and you will get that message if you read the Australia / New Zealand / Italy thread that I mentioned before), is that NZ is a relatively compact country in which one can see a great variety of beautiful scenery in two weeks.

But on the other hand, don't under-estimate the size of NZ, as some newbies do. I took a careful look at a map, and observed that NZ is about the same length as the US west coast, from the Canadian border to the Mexican border.

I followed your name to see what else you had been up to in the world of travel (knowing the context is so helpful in answering a person's questions). I saw that you'd recently been to Italy. I think this complicates things. You've been to Italy, but your husband has not, so how will you meet both of your needs?

If the people involved were my husband and myself, this is how I would go about it.

I would have just been to Italy myself, so I would already have had a taste of Europe. Therefore, I would suggest to my husband that he decide the destination of our next trip. If my husband was a very outdoorsy person, I would imagine that NZ would be the ticket for him. If my husband was interested in history, architecture, art and non-English-speaking cultures, I would imagine Europe would be more attractive.

HOWEVER, I also would weigh that up against the time period when we could get away. There are people here who have gone to NZ during cooler weather periods, but I personally am not attracted to doing that. I get enough cool / cold weather where I live, so I would target NZ's warmest months (January - February, but no earlier than November and probably no later than March). Your attitudes towards weather, however, may be different from mine.

When it comes to Europe, I'm more flexible about the weather. I've been in large European cities in winter, and there were so many indoor spaces to enjoy (churches, museums, art galleries, etc.), that the cold outdoor air did not bother me. I've also driven through the European countryside in summer weather, and that too was very pleasant.

Another clue as to your husband's likely preferences was his reaction to South America. Perhaps he can gauge his likely response to Europe by recalling how much he enjoyed or did not enjoy being in an environment in which a different language was being spoken.

If you do opt for NZ, I beg you to refrain from taking on anything other than NZ in 2 weeks. There are many people who have passed through this forum who have attempted to do NZ and Oz in 2 weeks, and have regretted it.

It happens that an accident of fate took me to Oz before NZ. I love Oz, and don't regret how things worked out. However, when newbies have come here asking which country they should visit first, the experienced people on this board have told them that NZ better lends itself to being an introduction to that part of the world.

For what it's worth.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Dec 1st, 2004, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 54
I agree w/Judy--its easy to get around but you have N/S Islands and you don't want to miss the North Island either. Two weeks prob. is not enough time for both--I was there for a month and needed every minute of it. Drove from Auckland to Queenstown and back--best way to see NZ. It is truly a magnificent country
libretango is offline  
Dec 1st, 2004, 12:15 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 128
Wow Judy Thanks for your very detailed reponse I really appreciate it!! I'm off the read the other thred you posted about. We would spend the entire two weeks just in NZ. Everyone that I know who has been to both OZ and NZ prefered New Zealand! I haven't even mentioned this idea to my DH yet, just looking at options. We would go in March.
smiley525 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2004, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 54
I meant to say "South" Island instead of North above. I also went to Oz on that trip and preferred NZ. I did think Sydney was a beatiful city--but I just loved the countryside of NZ.
libretango is offline  
Dec 1st, 2004, 02:10 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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New Zealand is certainly doable in two weeks, but you'd probably want to spend most of your time on one island. We spent 10 days on the North Island in April and loved it.

Lodging is reasonable; many motel rooms have full kitchens, so you can cook some of your meals and save some money. The hostels are great, too; many are small and feel like you're staying in someone's home. Most have double rooms with either private or ensuite bathrooms as well.

I thought food prices were comparable to what I pay for food at home. There are a variety of tasty, inexpensive restaurants as well as fancier, more expensive places. It all depends on where you go and what you want to do.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Dec 1st, 2004, 03:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,283
Hi Smiley,

It is very possible to do both islands in two weeks -- it just depends on what your (and your DH's interests are that will shape your itinerary. Of course, we all want more time on our vacations, don't we? But, instead of doing a "drive intensive" sort of itinerary, a time saver would be to fly from the North to the South, thereby gaining some valuable time.

Hope this is helpful!


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wlzmatilida is offline  

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